Public health nurses
What is a public healthcare nurse?
Public health nurses (PHN’S) are registered nurses employed by the Health Service Executive (HSE). They are often based in your local health centre and work in the community, covering a specific geographical area. Public health nurses work in schools, health centres, daycare, community centres and in people's homes.
What does a public health nurse do?
Public health nurses work as part of the health care team based in local HSE health centres, primary care centres and in the community.
Public health nurses work with family doctors (GPs), practice nurses, hospitals, hospices and other local services such as homeless and addiction services.
In some areas, public health nurses keep a register of older people and visit them as part of their work. Sometimes, this is also provided for people with disabilities.
If you have recently had a baby the public health nurse will visit you and your newborn in your home within 6 weeks of the birth. Read more about maternity care and the public health nurse.
School health services
Public health nurses are involved in the arrangement of school health services.
Can I go to a public health nurse?
You may be able to get public health nurse services if you are:
- An older person who lives at home
- Chronically or acutely ill or dying at home
- A child, for example infant welfare services, child health services and school health services
- An expectant mother who has recently given birth
- A person living with a disability
- A person suffering social deprivation
- A member of the Traveller community
What is a healthcare assistant?
The HSE may employ Health Care Assistants to assist the public health nursing service. Care assistants provide personal care rather than domestic services but there is some overlap between what they do and what home helps do.
How to apply for a public health nurse?
You can find a leaflet about the Public Health Nurse service in different languages on the HSE website.